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On some important Issues and Conclusions of the great October Revolution

P. Chountis, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece (ML), Comment No. C01 to the „International Internet discussion on the significance of 100 years October Revolution“, 24 September 2017

There is not such a process as of copying history. History is not repeated the same way but in another turn of the spiral. The Bolsheviks made constant adjustments based on the changing of circumstances. While in April Lenin said «The slogan 'Down with the Provisional Government' isn't right today because without the constant (meaning conscious and organized) peoples majority by the side of the revolutionary proletariat such a slogan is either a hollow fraise or objectively leads to attempts of adventurist characteristics» (Decision of Central Committee of RSDLP(b) April 22th 1917), October was not only guided by the slogan «Down with the government» but also got materialized.

There are no “clear” revolutions that “adjust” in ready decisions of central committees- history cannot be programmed. Marx and Engels stubbornly insisted on not describing very specific elements of the dictatorship of the proletariat because they knew the uncharted waters and the titanic work that would be needed, with the exact conditions in the social- economic level being unknown. But also what was the October Revolution? From the bourgeois revolution of February we reached the proletariat one of October and then to the New Economic Policy and then to the Collectivization. Not a “clear” situation, indeed! However, very revolutionary! The only “clear” revolutions are the ones that are not happening and the only “clear” revolutionaries are the ones that plant to be against revolution. It is true that tactics, retreats, maneuvers, (like every ACTION in real life) can produce Deviations, permanent misconceptions, strata with interests, can produce new dangers, can have side effects. The only way to answer them is the formation of the proletariat and its party in order to understand what a choice is and what a mandatory retreat is and try with the first chance it has to return to its original goals.

On the 2nd Conference of the Committees of Political Enlightenment in October of 1921, on the NEP issue Lenin stated “We believed that… we would be able to regulate production and distribution with a simple communist order… if the head-on attack didn’t work we will pass to the maneuver tactics, In the method of siege and laughing.” What else does this mean except forced retreat? What else does this state except fully being aware of that retreat, but also having a
parallel persistence to the original purpose?

The matter of political power was and is with a more absolute way today the matter of outmost importance, due to the experience and maturity of the bourgeois states it is the first issue.

The people are opening revolutionary roads not because they choose to do so but because the enemy does not leave them any other solution. The reform/revolution contradiction permeates the entire history of the class struggles. The "misfortune" of reformists is that for them to hold a role in existence, there must be a strong revolutionary movement. They fiercely attack it, and by doing so, they are sawing off the branch they are sitting on.

 

Unfortunately, the fundamental matters, which are still preoccupying the social movement today, as well as opportunistic insights that are being presented as modern conceptions, have in fact reappeared over and over again. They have troubled and have been answered not only by the great revolutionaries but by the class struggle itself. We consider the matter of political power, state, and revolution to be, let us say, one of the "most closed" matters there are. One of the matters which, if they were once true a hundred - hundred and fifty years ago, are in fact ten times truer today.

From the very beginning of the working class presence at the field of class struggles, starting in the early 19th century, from the massacre of the proletariat in 1848 in Paris, to the defeat by the new bourgeois elements in the Soviet Union and China, till today, the matter that emerges over and over again is whether there is a possibility for an autonomous presence of the working class (as a leading force of an alliance and other oppressed sections of the society) or it (together with its allies) is doomed to constitute a crutch for one or another bourgeois alternative. As it is obvious, we respond with the former. This matter is related to the degree of constitution of the working class as a "class-for-itself". It has been proven that Lenin and the Bolsheviks were correct, when they persisted in the fierce debate with all the opportunistic trends, most of all with the Mensheviks and the social democrats, but also with the leftist variations and anarchists.

There has been no serious and ambitious effort made that would not involve the constitution of the working class on the level of a party-organization. Lenin fiercely fought against dissolutionism and liquidationism, defended the party operation under the most brutal conditions of illegality, he understood that the combination of theory - political analysis - line for the masses - class struggle - correction could be implemented by the working class only through its party. At the same time he was not getting confused by whatever conditions of legality existed in other European countries besides Russia, and did not give in to legalism.

The crucial and determinant factor regarding ALL the above mentioned matters is the constitution of the working class as a "class-for-itself". Only this way can the ambitious tactics and the forging of short and long-term alliances (with the consciousness of their ways and targets) be conceived. Only this constitution may lead to the leadership of the proletariat over all the oppressed sections of the society, since it will be able to declare: "Our victory is your hope!". These steps cannot be made by coming up with a prescription pad based on the past experience, but only in the real field of class struggle, at the fronts that are shaped by real life, which today is defined by the barbarity of the capitalist-imperialist system. Where "one step of real movement is more important than a dozen programs". Through resistance to the new wars that this system is waging and to the greater ones that it's preparing; through resistance to the shattering of the workers' and peoples' rights; through claiming the basic rights in life; through defiance of ALL variations of opportunism, submission, compromise, and integration into the system; through strengthening of the direction of confrontation with it. It is through these fields that the workers and people’s revolutionary communist movement and the new communist parties will be constituted. It is this constitution that will be able to explain more successfully the defeat of the previous wave through spreading out a new one. It will defend in the most effective and authentic way the glorious October Revolution.

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